Senators plan to work in bipartisan fashion to pass sports betting bill

Senators plan to work in bipartisan fashion to pass sports betting bill

Senators plan to work in bipartisan fashion to pass sports betting bill

Most of the major pieces of legislation passed by the 2023 Minnesota Legislature were done with little, if any, Republican support in the DFL-controlled legislature. In 2024, a sports betting bill is a major piece of legislation that will likely require bipartisan support.

“I hope this is the year we can legalize sports betting in Minnesota,” says Sen. Jeremy Miller, (R-Winona). Miller says he has a sports betting bill ready to go on day one of the session in February.

Miller’s bill would give the state’s 11 Native American tribes exclusive licensing for mobile and in-person sports betting, but would also give them the opportunity to partner with horse racing tracks for wagering on sports at the tracks. The bill would also tax gross sports wagering revenue at 15% which could bring in an estimated $60 million per year. Miller would give 50% of that, or $30 million, to charitable gambling interests. Another 25%, or around $15 million, would go to Minnesota Sports and Events to help attack more events to the state; 15% would go to the state’s two horse tracks and 10% to problem gambling programs and youth sports.

“Even though horse racing tracks don’t get a license under this proposal, they will still benefit financially because they will receive some of the sales tax revenue to help enhance horse racing in the state of Minnesota,” Miller told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

Unlike many other bills, the sports wagering bill might actually get bipartisan approval.

“I think it’s an opening offer in what will be a quick early-session negotiation,” says Sen. Matt Klein, (DFL-Mendota Heights).

Klein even complimented Miller for notifying him ahead of time that he would be announcing details of his bill this week.

Klein says he’s encouraged that Miller’s bill gives exclusive licenses to Indian tribes.

“They’ve maintained the tribes’ exclusive rights over these licenses for sports wagering, which was non-negotiable really for our caucus,” Klein said in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association hasn’t weighed in on the latest bill yet. Miller says he’s hoping all sides will be willing to negotiate so Minnesota doesn’t keep missing out on what he calls a $100 billion industry.

“The tribes are going to have to give a little bit, the tracks are going to have to give a little bit,” he said.